A Massive Shoe Company Is Now Laying Off 150 Employees

A massive shoe company is now laying off 150 employees at a major distribution center according to the latest WARN filing.

Wolverine World Wide is permanently closing its facility in Louisville, Kentucky, and laying off approximately 150 people, according to a WARN notice filed last week.

The company previously said its Saucony and Sperry brands would continue to operate out of its facility, however, the layoffs are expected to begin around May 3 for the 519,508-square-foot facility at 6001 Cane Run Road.

Wolverine sold the distribution center at the end of 2023.

The sale added a whopping $23 million in cash to Wolverine’s Q4 bottom line, and the company said at the time that despite the transaction, the Saucony and Sperry brands would continue to operate out of the facility under a lease agreement.

Wolverine said the site closures comes as it streamlines its operations as part of a previously announced restructuring plan.

The stated mission of that plan is to deliver $215 million in annual savings and stabilize the business by divesting the company’s noncore assets, reducing inventory, paying down debt and right-sizing its cost structure, reports RetailDive.

Wolverine sold Sperry to Authentic Brands Group and the Aldo Group in January of this year.

2023 was a year of Wolverine divesting several business lines, including Keds and its U.S. leathers business.

Sarah Davasher-Wisdom, president and CEO of Greater Louisville Inc., the chamber of commerce for Louisville, said her organization is getting in touch with Wolverine in hopes of connecting displaced employees with hiring companies in the region.

“Unfortunately, this news reflects challenges that companies in certain industries across the U.S. are facing due to changing consumer demands and inflationary pressures,” Davasher-Wisdom said in an email to sister publication Fashion Dive.

“However, we remain optimistic that our regional economy is in a strong position and believe that these kinds of announcements will be minimal across our region.”

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Also Read: Beloved Crafts Retailer Is Now At High Risk of Bankruptcy

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Market News Today - A Massive Shoe Company Is Now Laying Off 150 Employees.
Market News Today – A Massive Shoe Company Is Now Laying Off 150 Employees.

A clothing retailer now makes a painful decision to close all stores after the company filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection.

Soft Surroundings filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection in September 2023.

And at the time of its initial filing, the women’s clothing chain operated a total of 44 stores in 24 states.

The company entered bankruptcy with an agreement in place to sell its brand to Coldwater Creek.

“Soft Surroundings has secured $18 million in debtor-in-possession (“DIP”) financing from Gordon Brothers, subject to court approval, to enable business continuity.

The DIP will enable the Company to continue to operate the business and meet its financial obligations, including the timely payment of employee wages and benefits without interruption, vendor payment for goods and services received on or after the filing date and other commitments during the restructuring,” the company said in a press release.

The company said that the new owner planned “will continue ongoing direct-to-consumer and e-commerce operations.”

It did not specifically say that Coldwater Creek would close all of its stores, but it was implied that Soft Surroundings would live on only as an online brand, reports TheStreet.

Soft Surroundings began as a catalog business before opening stores in 2005.

At its height, the chain operated as many as 70 retail stores, but the Covid-19 pandemic, like many others, affected the business significantly.

Coldwater Creek always intended to close Soft Surroundings’ brick-and-mortar locations, and those shutdowns have now been completed.

The chain slowly closed its stores over the course of a few months finishing the process at the end of February.

“Our commitment to our stakeholders has never wavered as we meticulously evaluated the best path forward and are welcoming this next step to financially secure a bright future for Soft Surroundings.

This will allow us to adapt, restructure and emerge more resilient, ensuring the longevity of the beloved Soft Surroundings brand for our customers and partners,” said Soft Surroundings Executive Chair Bridgit Lombard.

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Also Read: This Massive Mall Retailer Is Now Closing In California

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Market News Today - A Massive Shoe Company Is Now Laying Off 150 Employees.
Market News Today – A Massive Shoe Company Is Now Laying Off 150 Employees.

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